MANY Rockhampton region pet owners don't know where their pets are right now.
Rockhampton Regional Council's Health and Compliance Committee chair councillor Ellen Smith said local laws officers had impounded over 2000 pets in 2013, meaning lots of owners had no idea where their pets were.
"That's a lot of pets that aren't kept secure by their owners," Cr Smith said.
"Some people allow their pets to wander, but it's important to realise that laws around wandering animals are there for a reason - to keep you and your pet safe.
"Cats and dogs wandering at large can be injured or killed by a vehicle, create a traffic hazard, catch diseases and parasites, become aggressive and territorial, be attacked by another animal or cause unwanted pregnancies.
"I know it is a struggle for some pet owners to keep their pets from escaping and wandering about, and I would recommend looking to what the underlying issues might be.
"Some pets are lonely and they wander to seek out the company of other animals. Animals that aren't desexed will seek out partners and other animals could wander in search of food or be running away due to fear or anxiety from loud noises including fireworks or storms."
Cr Smith reminded pet owners that it was against the law to allow your pet to wander, and a wandering animal could attract fines from $220.
Some tips to prevent your animals from wandering are:
- Desexed animals are less likely to wander, desex your pet.
- Ensure your yard is securely fenced.
- Create a fun environment for them to play in while you are out by giving them toys and treats.
- Teach your dog to "wait at the gate" and only go out when you allow them to.
- Address the source of the fear or anxiety that is causing your pet to escape by talking to a vet or animal behaviourist.
Residents are encouraged to report wandering cats and dogs in their area by calling 07 4932 9000.